Poonch attack: Investigation reveals resourceful overground workers supported terrorists
Regular patrolling by the quick reaction teams (QRT) of the Indian Army and the heavy presence of troops across different locations along the Jammu Poonch highway could not prevent a gruesome attack by a group of terrorists in which five soldiers of the Indian Army sacrificed their lives in the line of duty while ferrying ration supplies to their base on Thursday.
According to official sources, a thorough investigation is still underway but the preliminary assessment of the location by several senior army and police officers have so far revealed that the group of terrorists were supported by resourceful overground workers and they may have safely escorted them to their hideouts soon after executing the terror plot.
According to local commuters who travel on the road link between Bhatta Durrian and Tota Gali, “It is difficult to believe that such an audacious strike can be executed on a busy road despite the presence of QRT vehicles at different locations which can be seen patrolling along the route”.
Secondly, the Army and the police authorities are still working on the possible route of escape taken by the terrorists after targeting the army vehicle.
A close inspection of the road leading to the exact spot suggested that the terrorists could have escaped through a dense jungle along the ‘nullah‘ by taking the shortest possible route instead of taking the road route.
Official sources indicated the group of terrorists could have waited for some time before their guides instructed them to step out of their safe hideout, possibly a cave-like structure, while the attention was diverted towards carrying out the rescue operation at the attack site. Before the security forces launched a massive manhunt the terrorists could have managed to reach their safe hideouts without facing any resistance.
Security forces also believed the terrorist strike was planned and executed by an old group of terrorists who were already been camping in the region for a long time and must have carried out a drill to calculate the total time needed to execute the attack and later reach their safe hideout.
A senior officer in Rajouri claimed it is impossible for an infiltrator to launch such an attack and also vanish from the scene of action without facing any resistance. Only a trained person, well versed with the topography and ably supported by close aides could have managed to execute the terror strike with clock precision on a busy road and also managed to escape without facing any roadblocks.
Northern Command Army Commander visited the site of the ambush in Poonch
Northern Command Army Commander, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi also visited the site of the terrorist attack after reviewing the security in the border area and the ongoing combing operation.
Director General Border Security Force S L Thaosen, and ADGP Mukesh Singh, CRPF officers besides an NSG team also visited the spot at Bhata Dhurian and took stock of the situation.
DG BSF also had security-related discussions with DG J&K Police and other CRPF commanders based in Rajouri and Poonch areas. DG BSF later visited Army authorities based in Rajouri and held security meetings with them.
The Northern Command said in a tweet that Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi reviewed the operational situation after the attack. He was briefed on the actions undertaken so far and exhorted the troops to be steadfast in their resolve, it added.
Martyred soldiers cremated with full military honors
The Bravehearts of the Indian Army, martyred in the terror attack on a solitary army vehicle in Poonch, were cremated with full military honors in their native places across Punjab and Orissa on Saturday.
Earlier, a sombre wreath-laying ceremony was organized by the Army authorities in Rajouri where senior army and police officers offered floral tributes to the soldiers before dispatching their mortal remains to their native places on Friday.
Massive searches being conducted to nab the terrorists behind the attack
Massive search operations, launched in the thickly forested belt of Bhatta Durrian, continued for the second day together to track down the terrorists behind the attack. NSG team also arrived on ground zero on Saturday to assist the Army jawans in the task.
Soon after the attack, a high alert was sounded in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch. Random checking of vehicles was going on along the different routes in the area while identity cards were checked by the security personnel before allowing commuters to continue with their journey.
Traffic on the Bhimber Gali-Poonch road was stopped following the incident and people have been advised to go to Poonch via Mendhar.
On ground zero Army helicopters, drones, as well as sniffer dogs, were pressed into service to carry out searches in the jungle area.
According to official sources, the police authorities have detained at least four local residents for questioning.
Separate teams of the National Investigation Agency along with forensic experts also inspected the spot and gathered information from the army authorities about the terror attack.
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